First written on Stupid Sideline Reporters.
I’m rather disappointed in these results….a complete whitewash in all games.
(8) Indiana 80 (10) South Alabama 58
A close game in the beginning, a blowout at the end. The Jaguars run is over, and the Hoosiers of Indiana, the “top seed” in the East Region advance to San Antonio. Believe it or not, South Alabama got off to a hot start, started the game 4-5 from the field and had a 12-3 lead. Indiana would have none of it and blasted them on a 14-0 run to give them a 17-12 advantage, and they held that lead for most of the remainder of the first half. Not so fast though, South Alabama came back and DeAndre Coleman’s fadeaway gave the Jaguars a 38-36 lead with :01 left. After an Indiana timeout, they inbounded the ball at half court, and Eric Gordon hits a devastating jumper to give the Hoosiers momentum and an even halftime score at 38-38.
The 2nd half was a completely different story, as Indiana went on an 11-4 run to grab a 49-42 lead. The final dagger in South Alabama’s hearts came when Armon Bassett drained a three to give Indiana a double digit lead at 54-43, and they never looked back.
Indiana - East Regional Champions
(7) Gonzaga 88 (16) Portland State 53
The 3rd highest seed in the Midwest Region advances to face Indiana….again. Mark Few’s Gonzaga side romped over the Cinderella team in the Vikings, who had knocked off #4 seed Vanderbilt and #9 seed Kent State. Too much Matt Bouldin and Jeremy Pargo and with 8:41 left in the first half, had a comfortable 17-4 lead in Detroit. The Vikes would close it to 17-11 before Gonzaga started to dominate and went to the locker room with a 39-25 lead at halftime.
The 2nd half was just plain ugly. At one point the Zags lead 78-41, and their largest lead came at 88-50 before a meaningless three by Alex Tiefenthaler drew Portland State to within 35…a very respectable margin of course.
Gonzaga - Midwest Regional Champions
(11) Kentucky 67 (13) Oral Roberts 46
Kentucky became the 3rd team to advance to the Final Four, and again it wasn’t even close. The Wildcats led by 15 at halftime and shot 51.2% from the field and going 10-17 from three point land and dominated the #13 seed Oral Roberts. Because UConn is a #4 seed and Arizona is a #10 seed, Kentucky will be the lowest seed to make it to the semifinals.
Kentucky - South Regional Champions
(4) UConn 78 (10) Arizona 57
Well…Kevin O’Neill’s Wildcats not only should have been in the real NIT, they put up an embarrassing performance against the Huskies, who once again eliminate a Pac-10 team en route to the Final Four. Stanley Robinson put up an impressive performance for UConn, 6-9 shooting and 14 points overall. Jeff Adrien, essentially the MVP for UConn on this run, only scored 9 points but corralled 11 rebounds.
The game was pretty even in the first half, Arizona hung around and kept themselves within striking distance. But they melted down towards halftime and went from 29-26 down to 35-26 down in a 4:30 minute span, and things would only get worse from there.
With Hasheem Thabeet’s tip in with 15:53 left in the game, Arizona would see itself down by double digits the rest of the way, down 46-36. Freshman standout Jerryd Bayless had a poor game, only 4-11 from the field, 2-4 from the free throw line, and 11 points overall in 32 minutes played. Just 8 points from the Arizona bench compared to 24 for UConn. This was not just a beatdown, it was a virtual home game beatdown for Arizona (remember, the West Regional is in Phoenix).
UConn - West Regional Champions
Final Four Games
(7) Gonzaga (Midwest Champion) vs. (8) Indiana (East Champion)
(4) UConn (West Champion) vs. (11) Kentucky (South Champion)
The Final Four games will be simulated and posted either this evening or tomorrow morning.